Arm Holdings Gains Continue On Nasdaq Debut Week

Arm Holdings, the British chip designer, saw its shares rise another 6% during Friday’s market opening, extending its upward trend since its debut on the Nasdaq earlier this week.

The stock was trading slightly above $67 at the market open, reflecting a valuation of over $72 billion. Arm’s shares had reached even higher levels earlier in the week but experienced some pullback.

This surge in share price follows a remarkable 25% gain on the company’s first day of trading on Thursday. Initially priced at $51 per share for its high-profile IPO, Arm’s valuation stood at around $54.5 billion.

Despite ongoing positive momentum, Arm is trading at a premium compared to chip giant Nvidia, raising concerns among some analysts about its valuation.

“The pricing is expensive… I think a lot of investors are thinking on the sidelines… and waiting to see how they execute on those drivers,” commented Ben Barringer, an equity research analyst at Quilter Cheviot, during an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe.”

SoftBank, which acquired Arm in 2016, made around 10% of the company available for public trading, retaining a 90% ownership stake. The Japanese conglomerate has faced scrutiny over its investment strategy, particularly after its Vision Fund tech investment arm reported significant losses in its last fiscal year. This has dissuaded some investors from participating in Arm’s IPO.

William de Gale, portfolio manager at BlueBox Asset Management, revealed that his firm decided not to invest in Arm due to concerns about corporate governance with SoftBank still controlling the company. He highlighted SoftBank’s questionable record for asset allocation, stating that they preferred to observe how the company operates as an independent entity.

Despite these reservations, there was substantial demand for Arm’s shares, with reports before the IPO suggesting that the listing was significantly oversubscribed.

Arm, whose chip architecture is present in 99% of the world’s smartphones, managed to secure strategic investors such as Apple and Nvidia for its IPO.

This week, much attention has centered on the risks associated with Arm, including its exposure to the Chinese market and increasing competition from a rival semiconductor architecture supported by some of Arm’s major clients.

Arm CEO Rene Haas, in an interview with CNBC on Thursday, emphasized the company’s strong performance in China, particularly in data centres and automotive applications. While Arm has traditionally excelled in smartphones and consumer electronics, it is now expanding into new areas, such as artificial intelligence, to drive further growth.

Arm’s impressive Nasdaq debut week is a testament to its standing as a leading player in the global semiconductor industry and its commitment to innovation and diversification in the face of evolving market dynamics.

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